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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

First Annette, now Lumpy Rutherford (Frank Bank)...


Just recently Annette Funicello died from complications of MS and now Frank Bank, aka Lumpy Rutherford, has also died.  Lumpy was Tony Dow's (Wally's) friend on Leave it to Beaver and somewhat of a bully, though not very successful.  These actors/characters were so much a part of my childhood TV viewing that I feel like I've lost family.  The actors playing the characters in Leave it To Beaver became symbolic of the attributes that we associate with them; smarmy Eddie Haskell sucking up to Mrs. Cleaver, or Beaver's situations which seemed monumental to him, but just humorous to us.  The child stars of the 50's and 60s were like regular kids.  Their families lived in average homes in LA or the Valley, not McMansions...they were not primped, plucked, dyed or dieted to resemble small adults (did you ever check out Annette's eyebrows when she was a Mousketeer?) and they were not paid astronomical amounts of money. You might have had one of these kids on your Little League team or in your class in PUBLIC school.  Lumpy went on to be a successful businessman and even had the actors who played Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver as clients.  For a while he was embarrassed to tell his kids the character he played, but they found out and were proud.  RIP Annette and Lumpy, you two epitomize what was great about TV when I was a kid.

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